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Hello there! (First post!)

I have an M+M M10-762 AKM rifle that I've had for a few months now. Due to my hectic schedule I haven't had much opportunity to shoot it but I do regularly check it to ensure its free of corrosion and surface rust. I've seen many posts on the internet with AK owners saying that removing the handgaurd is in most circumstances an unnecessary cleaning step, with some users saying they've NEVER removed the handguard for cleaning. I haven't removed my handgaurd yet because I have an optic mounted and don't want to lose zero if not necessary. Being fairly new and noobish to the AK world I wanted to defer to the wisdom of some more senior AK owners and how they feel about this specific issue. Thanks!
 

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Never. For me to remove the handguards there would have to be a specific reason. Something somehow got in there, suspect rust issue, broken handguard, ...something like that. As long as we arnt confusing handguard removal with gas tube removal.
 

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I remove mine as I see fit. And of course the gas tube for cleaning. But I fire corrosive primed milspec ammo. Full cleaning is advised after every outing. I also do not have any handguard mounted optics.., never like the idea much or the inability to remove the front end parts readily. But if you are using commercial non-corrosive ammo I suppose you can skip cleaning the gas tube by removal and do it from the rear of RSB area etc.
 
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